A sighting of one of the deep ocean’s most mysterious beings, the bigfin squid, in Australian waters for the first time is creating waves among the scientific community’s squid squad. “It seems other-worldly, and although some people find them a bit spooky, I find their coloration delicate, and their flapping fins and trailing arms quite calming to watch,” said Deborah Osterhage, first author of a new paper in PLOS ONE detailing the findings. Surveys over the course of three years captured high-definition video of five individuals from the Magnapinna genus. With their outsized fins, these squids resemble marine flowers moving silkily across the frame. Though lone bigfin squids have been glimpsed over the decades, these rare sightings remain the kind of novelty that makes scientists jump out of their chairs. Bigfin squid. “The most interesting thing is that they saw so many of them so close together. There are published records and several unpublished observations, but I have never heard of anybody coming across more than one at a time,” said Mike Vecchione, a NOAA scientist, curator at Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and a leading authority on squids. While Osterhage and her team could distinguish the squids they saw in the video as bigfins, they could not ascertain the species. The Magnapinna genus consists of three species: M. atlantica, M. pacifica and M. talismani. However, to identify them from snatches of video captured thousands of meters underwater is extremely difficult. What makes the task nearly impossible is that no adult bigfin…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer